Skip to main content

All Hallows' Eve: 13 Stories

Review

All Hallows' Eve: 13 Stories

Vivian Vande Velde serves up a masterfully eerie frightfest with these 13 petrifying stories. The tales range from the gory to the subtly strange. Some feel like classic ghost tales you may have heard a long time ago while sitting around a campfire on a dark night; others seem totally new. All the stories manage to be unique, though, and most feature some memorable twists (and even double twists). The impression the reader gleans from the beginning of the tale may change several times before the story is done.

This excellent collection is full of truly terrifying and tantalizing trick-or-treat treasures:

- One story's moral is "Never trust a witch's motives, no matter how desperate you might be."

- In another tale, a boy buys a new-to-him car that has a history --- and a GPS system he cannot (and maybe should not) believe.

- A Halloween-haunted hayride attraction is set on a farm in which a horrifying crime once occurred. One dark night, a storm isolates a young worker for the production in the barn, along with the mock corpses. The lights go out. Can she resist the plea for help from an appealing visitor? (This story, "Morgan Roehmar's Boys," was extremely disturbing!)

- Should a young practical joker not be able to resist a prank, he may well find that the joke is on him.

- There's nothing to be frightened of during a humdrum class trip to a cemetery (even when there seems to be a sound coming from a crypt), right? Suuuure.

- Which of two "best friends" will have the last word on their friendship? I mean the very last word...?

- A boy travels way out into the countryside to pick up a girl for a Halloween date. Her family definitely gets into the spirit of the holiday.

- A girl who is absolutely not a witch seeks asylum.

- A group of high school seniors have their fortune told by a cut-rate psychic, in an extremely clever story with the theme, "Be careful what you wish for."

- Matt's parents come to visit just once a year, but boy do they leave an impression!

- The mean old man who Edward lives with wants the animals inside the house on All Hallows' Eve. (This story, "Edward, Lost and Far from Home," is truly creepy, with a powerful punch of an ending.)

- Evelyn goes all out to find her real mother.

- Harlan sees a particular boy just once a year. Is this the year for redemption?

I think I have an extremely high terror threshold; I don't scare easily. However, this collection of haunting tales made me contemplate the luxury of buying/owning/using a nightlight or three ASAP. Who would believe that being terrified could be so immensely pleasurable?

Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon on September 1, 2006

All Hallows' Eve: 13 Stories
by Vivian Vande Velde

  • Publication Date: September 6, 2010
  • Genres: Horror, Short Stories
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Graphia
  • ISBN-10: 0152064737
  • ISBN-13: 9780152064730